Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Crisis With Horned Owl Cam





The camera on Minnesota Bound’s Horned Owl cam has failed and now they are faced with a number of problems to replace it. Minnie and Sota are the adult owls and they will not leave this nest as they are extremely over protective of their children. The US Fish and Wildlife Service had to give permission to the MN Bound folk to go up there and replace the camera as it may have been considered as disturbing the nest. However, permission was granted. Finally, due to recent floods the ground is too soft for a boom truck and so someone will have to climb the 75 foot high tree.

Climbing brings with it a number of issues. Not only is it dangerous from a height point of view and will need someone who is an experienced climber but there is a likely chance of them being attacked by Minnie. Females are bigger than males, so they take on the duty of nest protection. According to Dr. C. Stuart Houston, who has banded over 7,000 Great Horned Owl chicks, something like 7% of all females will physically attack the tree climber. Too many people have scars from protective mother owls, and a few have lost eyes. Not to mention the risk of being knocked out of a tree while you're 75 feet up in the air.... Whoever does this HAS to know what they're doing!

Karla Kinstler ‘the owl lady’ http://www.mnbound.com/karlas-owl-blog/ has contacted the Raptor centre at the University of Minnesota to see if she can find anyone suitable for the job. They have given her the name of someone so we hope this pays off. She has also suggested that the camera is replaced with a camera with night vision and audio so that it can be the first ever streaming Great Horned Owl cam with a day/night camera and audio. Watch this space!

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